Artificial intelligence (AI) technology may boost the UAE’s economy by 1.6 percent and add $182 billion to its economy by 2035, according to a new report by Accenture.
The report – which examined 15 industries in the UAE and 13 in neighbouring Saudi Arabia – AI will bring the most significant impacts on the financial services, health and transport and storage industries, with increases of $37 billion, $22 billion and $19 billion, respectively, added to their annual gross value added (GVA).
Arabian Business reported that the education and construction sectors – both of which are labour-intensive – will see GVA increases of $6 billion and $8 billion over the same period, respectively, due to AI-enabled productivity boosts than in turn lead to increased profitability.
“The level of growth that AI stands to bring to the UAE’s economy in unparalleled,” said Amir El Saadani, the managing director of Accenture’s Financial Services practice in the Middle East and Turkey. “The nation’s leaders already understand the impact of this powerful technology, evidenced by the appointment of the first Minister of AI last year.
El Saadani added that while AI-led growth will be felt across a number of sectors, the financial services sector “has the most to gain.”
“[This] isn’t surprising, given that many of its jobs can be significantly augmented with AI and machine learning,” he said. “In addition, Accenture reporters have already shown that banking executives globally are taking action to transform their businesses through the use of AI.”
In the report, Accenture identified five areas that will need to be considered by policy makers as AI technologies become increasingly common: growing the local talent pipeline using AI, advocating for a code of ethics, becoming a global testbed for social AI, preparing workers for AI, and minimising the impact of labour market dislocation.
“With governments in the region looking to break free from a decades-long dependence on oil, AI can act as a key driver to future growth,” El Saadani said. “However, to overcome the social and economic challenges that can arise from a shift of this magnitude, governments will have to put in place a robust roadmap to enable their countries to fully reap the rewards of this powerful technology.”